When I'm out and about in the world doing my thang as the Phenomenal Transwoman, people will often ask me various questions about different aspects of my transition.
They'll ask how did I learn how to do my makeup? They'll compliment me on my fashion sense and style. People will ask me how I and other transwomen are able to effortlessly blend into various social situations and look fly doing it.
So how do we become the women we desire to project to the world? There are two key words that basically explain how we're able to do so; observation and practice.
I have learned my femininity (and still do) the same way any cis woman does.
I observe the world and the various women around me whose style and demeanor I admire, pick out the various elements and qualities I like, and then spend time practicing and perfecting what I learn.
Whether it's trying different combinations and colors of makeup, trying various hairstyles, discerning the lengths of hair and colors that complement our facial structures and skin tones, what clothing colors and styles work best for us, and even learning how to effortless walk in heels, we expend a lot of effort in perfecting our feminine presentations.
We do so because we had to overcome obstacles in our path to get to where we needed to be to project to the world on the outside the women we are on the inside. The trials and tribulations we go though as transwomen put us in the position where we don't take femininity for granted.
And a little does of reality here, the observation and practice we put in toward perfecting our feminine presentation can not only possible save our lives, but get us through our days without unnecessary drama.
Because we chocolate transwomen have had decades worth of fashion forward examples to observe and admire from Diahann Carroll to First Lady Michelle Obama, in order for us to blend in with our cissisters, we're willing to spend the time to make sure that we are projecting the same air of elegance, class and innovative fashion forward style while wishing to be seen as compliments to Black womanhood, not detriments to it.
That desire is even more acute amongst Black people of my generation. We were raised to never being seen as 'embarrassing the race'.
So me and my transsisters will continue to do our parts to look our gender best by observing our cissisters, practicing what we see, and coming up with our own signature style.